Tuesday, July 17, 2012


We just got back from our long awaited trip to North Carolina to visit my sister Emily, her husband Bud and their sweet daughter Claire.  I am not exaggerating when I say we had the BEST time!  Emily and Bud are fabulous hosts - we slept well, ate well and had an all around terrific time.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit anxious about a few different aspects of the trip - flying with an 11 month old, new and different sleeping arrangements, etc. but everything went so well and for that, I am SO thankful!  Lainey was a CHAMP flying - we had 1 lay over both there and back, so of the 4 flights we took, she slept through the majority of 3 of them.  She just laid her sweaty little baby head on my shoulder and drifted off to sleepy world.  And the first flight that she didn't sleep through, she just ate snacks, looked at books and played with her cute little baby iPad apps (not joking, they exist).
Sleeping like a baby!

Happy girl enjoying a snack!

The majority of the 5 days were spent playing, playing and playing some more for Lainey and Claire.  Which meant the 4 adults spent the majority of our time watching, helping and intervening when necessary.  (We also got to relax and watch movies at night!  So fun!)  They had so much fun together!  Claire has the BEST toy collection and Lainey was loving especially all of her Little People animals and Mickey Mouse figurines!

Lainey really didn't take long at all to warm up to Auntie Em, Uncle Bud and even their dog Lacey.  Of course,  a little bribing never hurts... especially when it involves food...

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Jed got some good one on one time with Claire one morning while her momma had some errands to run.  She is just the sweetest and she makes the cutest faces!

There is nothing cuter than kids in the bath tub!

The impossible task of getting 2 kids under 2 to look at the camera at the same time...Sigh.
Friday was Emily's birthday!  We celebrated the night before by going out to dinner at Applebee's (her choice - not ours - and if you're wondering, they took my favorite thing off the menu - BOO for no more oriental chicken roll up!).  We didn't really pack anything for Lainey to eat for dinner so we ordered Lainey a kid's meal for the first time - macaroni and cheese (don't judge me).  She ate the ENTIRE thing.  All of it.  She only dropped maybe 5 noodles on the ground.  The girl is serious about her food.  We were giggling at her the whole time as she shoved fistfulls of macaroni into her mouth all while wearing her hoodie up.
Lainey had to sit back and relax after that huge meal!

Another highlight (especially for Jed) was visiting base, Camp Lejeune, and getting to see where Bud works and the ordnance library (bombs, explosives and the like).  I have a hard time wrapping my head around exactly what Bud does as an EOD tech (explosive ordnance disposal) but it's fascinating to listen to him talk about his job and his most recent deployment.  I'm just thankful that the Lord kept him safe for 7 months and allowed him to keep all of his arms and legs intact (as it is not always the case for many EODs).

Just a little shopping trip at the exchange on base
Chow time with the Dads!

Lainey got some good practice at cruising around furniture and walking with the stroller while we were there too!

Sunday we went to the beach!  Bud and Emily live about 15 minutes from the ocean (can you imagine?!?) and while it's still a lot of work to pack up and take 4 adults and 2 kids under 2, it's close enough that we didn't feel bad about only being there for an hour and a half.  It was a BEAUTIFUL sunny day!  Claire is a riot at the beach - the girl has no fear!  Lainey was a bit unsure at first but I'd say she enjoyed herself.  I think of everyone, Jed enjoyed himself the most of all.
I just can't get over how cute she looks in that hat.

[Do you like how I strategically placed Lainey in front of my belly? Ha!]

By the end of our visit, Lainey had 2 new best friends (besides Claire...)
Uncle Bud!
Auntie Em!
As a parent, you just LOVE your kids and you know how wonderful and special your children are (even though you might be a little teeny bit biased) but it's also just really fun to share that joy with people you love.  Auntie Em and Uncle Bud completely ADORE Lainey and we feel the same about Miss Claire.  It was so fun to have so many days to share together!

Jed kept saying that Jacksonville, NC is going to be our new vacation destination hot spot and I couldn't agree more!  It's not a place to visit and appreciate for the scenery or restaurants, but there are 3 people there we love very much and that is reason enough for us to go!

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